Am I a Bully?

Posted: May 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

I’m at the Jackson Correctional Institution (JCI), a facility in the Wisconsin Prison System (WPS).  On this particular day in late March, we had a sergeant in charge of second shift who annoyed me.  He would announce what row or group should go to the meal in a very loud and annoying way.  I asked Freddy at meal time what the story was with him.  It seems this sergeant, Ahab Krueger, was known for his behavior over the intercom, overly strict enforcement of rules and according to whom you talked to, of having a tattoo that either said “I Love the DOC” (Department of Corrections) or showed the image of a guard tower with an inmate having his head blown off.  According to the story, Krueger had been told by Superiors he had to keep the tattoo covered.  If this is true, it certainly makes me wonder why the State of Wisconsin would allow such a person in its employment.  If he ever hurt someone, intentionally or not, exhibit A for the plaintiff would be that tattoo.

During the standing count prior to the evening meal, Krueger carried a clipboard and every once in awhile stopped at a cell and talked to an inmate.  When he got to me, he informed me I was being moved to a single cell downstairs.  Up to this point, I had been by myself in a double occupancy cell. I began packing my stuff.  It wasn’t 5 minutes later that my old friend Leroy appeared at my door.  He was getting my cell.  He wanted to start moving in that second of course.  I put my stuff out the door while trying to keep one eye on it to prevent theft of my canteen.  Leroy didn’t even want me to clean it when I was done.  As I moved up and down the stairs with my things, I noticed a collection of inmates at the door of my cell.  I walked in and didn’t see anything amiss.  But as I emerged from my new home, a group of inmates motioned me over and told me a guy known as Milcox had gone into my cell and taken the mattress and replaced it with a thin mattress.  Now Milcox had a reputation as the unit snitch and was always getting picked on by many on the unit.  Knowing this I took what they said with a grain of salt.  But I talked to the prior occupant who indicated the mattress in the cell was not the one he’d left.  It was clear to me these inmates were trying to cause a confrontation between me and Milcox.  While they watched, I went to Milcox cell and asked him to return the mattress.  Others started calling out Milcox as well when he refused.  Finally he angrily grabbed the mattress and threw it at me.  I took the mattress to my cell.  About an hour later, I’m told Milcox had told the guards on duty I had two mattresses, which was against the rules, and was true as I had not gotten rid  of the mattress Milcox had put in my cell yet.  I hadn’t had time.  Freddy tells me I need to get up there and let the guards know what happened, or I’ll get disciplined for having unauthorized items.  I’m regretting having said anything now.  But I tell the guard I had an extra mattress and I didn’t want it.  I was surprised when they told me they were aware of the situation and not to worry about it.  When I left, they paged Milcox.  He returns and calls ME the snitch.  Other inmates shouted him down right away.  Then I was told that not only did the inmates despise him, so did the guards.  I returned to my cell, trying to get organized.  Though I now disliked him too, I couldn’t help feel like I’d been used to mess with him.  That was not my intent.

That night I got paged to report to the Property Office, and to bring a cart.  Sure enough, the orders I placed from the catalogs had arrived.  My TV and radio were here!  I got them setup in my room and turned on “Law and Order SVU”.  I was thrilled!  I hadn’t had TV and radio in months.  I didn’t come out of my cell the rest of the night and wondered how much time I’d spend with the other inmates now.  But I prayed and said thank you.  The thank you was for having something that made me feel human and gave me choices.  I know you take TV and radio for granted, but it was now a big deal for me.  Let’s hope things keep getting better.

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